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1st LD-Writethru: China braces for Typhoon Matmo

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

FUZHOU, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Coastal Chinese regions are bracing for typhoon Matmo as the 10th typhoon to affect the country this year made landfall in Fujian Province on Wednesday afternoon.

With a wind speed of up to 30 meters per second, Matmo landed in Gaoshan Township in Fuqing City at 3:30 p.m., according to the provincial meteorological bureau.

The typhoon is moving northwest, the bureau said.

Matmo has brought strong winds and heavy downpours to parts of Fujian. A total of 296,804 people were evacuated by 3 p.m., said the provincial flood control headquarters.

The provincial marine and fishing department said Fujian has suspended all shipping services. Some 157,200 fishermen and 30,470 vessels have been called back to shore.

The Fujian Marine Affairs Bureau said it has four helicopters, four rescue vessels and 55 patrol boats on standby in case of emergencies.

According to the State Grid Fujian Electric Power Co. Ltd., more than 340,000 families in the province had suffered a blackout as of 4:30 p.m.. The company has dispatched 5,167 employees to repair equipment.

As of 4 p.m., east China's Zhejiang Province had relocated more than 44,000 residents and over 30,000 vessels had been told to return to shore, said the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

Railway authorities in Nanchang City, capital of Jiangxi Province, suspended 182 trains running in southern and eastern coastal areas.

In Shanghai Municipality, nineteen trains linking to coastal cities like Xiamen and Shenzhen were suspended, affecting more than 5,300 passengers.

Provinces on southern and eastern coasts have been buffeted by typhoons Matmo and Rammasun, with the latter hitting Hainan and Guangdong on Friday. Rammasun was the strongest typhoon to strike China in four decades.

Tourists have been evacuated from coastal and island resorts in Zhejiang, Fuzhou, Hainan and Guangdong provinces this week.

In Hainan, super typhoon Rammasun had led to 25 deaths and six people missing as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. Economic losses have hit 11.95 billion yuan, a spokesman said at a disaster relief meeting.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140723/1st-ld-writethru-china-braces-typhoon-matmo